Secukinumab Provides Rapid and Sustained Pain Relief in Ankylosing Spondylitis, as Well as Improvements in Fatigue

Secukinumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that selectively neutralizes IL-17A, has shown sustained efficacy in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a form of arthritis that causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.

Beyond efficacy in controlling AS, a group of researchers sought to examine the treatment’s effects on pain and fatigue scores from baseline through two years in patients enrolled in the MEASURE 2 trial, which studied secukinumab at the approved 150 mg subcutaneous dose. They presented the results of their post-hoc analysis at the 2017 annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP).

The researchers assessed the mean change in total spinal and nocturnal pain scores (measured by visual analog scale). Led by Atul A. Deodhar, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, the team looked for the proportion of patients who achieved clinically meaningful improvement in spinal pain, defined as a 20% or more change from baseline. The analysis also sought correlations among pain (spinal or nocturnal), treatment response, and scores on the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy‒Fatigue (FACIT‒Fatigue) tool

The sample size was 219. Patients treated with secukinumab 150 mg (n = 72) reported rapid reductions in spinal and nocturnal pain scores by week 1, which were sustained or further improved through week 104. At week 16, moderate correlations were observed between spinal or nocturnal pain and FACIT‒Fatigue score. Therefore, the researchers concluded that secukinumab provides rapid and sustained pain relief through 104 weeks of therapy, with an associated positive correlation with improvement in fatigue.